Tails are wagging in the Bellefonte business scene.
Bone Bar and Boutique recently opened at 135 W. High St., offering a selection of toys, treats and grain-free foods. The pet shop offers brands that are hard to find in big-box retailers, owner Carly Andriaccio said, such as West Paw and Stella and Chewy.
“My first couple of jobs were volunteering at kennels and shelters,” she said. “My family has raised some guide dog puppies for The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and they went on to become seeing-eye dogs. I love being around them.”
The store also features hand-knit sweaters and a Penn State section. A grand opening is set for early December.
Andriaccio, a New York native and New York University graduate, moved to Bellefonte about three years ago, following her parents who own the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast.
Prior to starting her business, the NYU-educated musician did concerts and jobs here and there, but nothing stuck. So she turned to her other love: taking care of Georgie and Tony, her family’s black Labradors, and Nia, a border collie mix. Turns out, her pawed pals proved prophetic, nudging her — sometimes literally — into entrepreneurship.
“None of the big orchestra jobs that are paying the bills were available,” she said. “So I just kind of realized there was nothing like this in the area, and decided to give it a shot.”
Georgie, a puppy, is in training to become a guide dog. In his own way, he’s already helped “Mom” start her first business.
“It’s definitely scary, but it’s pretty cool,” Andriaccio, 26, said. “I’m pretty lucky to start something now and see how it goes.”
Bone Bar and Boutique is open Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tentatively 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the week.
A streetcart named desire
Hitham Hiyajneh wants to make food that “knocks your socks off.”
His newest venture smells — and tastes — much better.
Yallah Taco, a Latin American-style eatery with a twist, recently opened behind the Shandygaff in downtown State College. On a recent Monday, curious passers-by followed the smells of freshly wrapped burritos and ended up at Yallah’s blue-and-yellow facade.
Though part of a building, Yallah and its deals — two tacos for $5 and a burrito for the same price — are reminiscent of street food found in big cities.
So is the taste.
“It’s like if Arabic food and Mexican food got married,” said Nader Alfares, 21, before biting into a chicken burrito. (It got his seal of approval.)
Hiyajneh said the eatery will also offer nachos, quesadillas and empanadas.
“Our food is going to be South American with a Lebanese fusion,” he said, echoing Alfares. “Like Arabic and Spanish food blended together.”
The eatery, which takes its name from the Arabic phrase for “let’s go,” was previously planned to be El Taccorito. But the new name evokes the melange of flavors and culture Hiyajneh wants to represent in his food.
Yallah Taco is the fifth and latest venture for Hiyajneh, whose family also owns Underground Burger and Crepe, Pita Cabana Grill, the recently opened The Melt Shack and the forthcoming Tazzah salad and juice bar, which is set to open next week.
The eatery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Already, the spot has drawn interest.
“If you make good food, people will find it,” Hiyajneh said.
What’s in the trunk?
STATE COLLEGE Who do you turn to when you’re mulling a new college-town clothing store?
For Kathy Hume, you turn to your college-aged daughter.
“I asked her, ‘What’s missing here? What do kids need?’ ” Hume said. “She said, ‘Well we don’t really have any place we can shop that we can afford.’ ”
Sarah, a freshman at Penn State, was a built-in in-home consultant. She helped spark a passion that was already there; Hume was thinking about moving from her corporate job into small business ownership. She just needed an idea.
And thus, Funky Trunk Happy Valley Consignments was born. The consignment clothing and accessory store is set to open on Dec. 4 at 236 E. Calder Way.
Hume, a Penn State grad, recently returned to the area. She said being back in the community and around the students energizes her, and hopes her store can fill a niche for shoppers on a college budget.
“It’s just so refreshing where the community is so nice and active,” she said. “I think you have to live away from here for a bit to appreciate how special the community is.”
The store will feature clothes and accessories geared toward the college crowd and “the young at heart,” Hume said. Though fast-fashion brands such as H&M and Urban Outfitters are popular among millennials, a growing contingent are combing consignment shops to stand out.
Finding a trendy (and cheap) sweater at the local thrift store is the new cool.
“That was her perspective, which I thought was interesting,” Hume said, referencing her daughter. “Because when you’re a college student you don’t have a lot of money, so the Funky Trunk was kind of born from that idea — that it would be a great place for the community to come to get affordable clothes.”
Hours are still tentative at this point, she added.
For Hume, a former health care administrator, the move is a change of pace similar to her business: taking something old and making it new again.
“You get to that point in life where you’re at the crossroads,” she said. “Like ‘I’ve been doing the corporate thing forever; what do you want that next thing to be?’ For me it was being part of the State College community in a very real way, and doing something I’ve always wanted to do.”